A group of transgender people were ruthlessly beaten up by policemen in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut today, after a clash allegedly erupted between two rival factions.
A video of the incident showed the transgender people scrambling for cover as policemen rained blows on them at the Lalkurti police station. According to reports, the action was taken after they began fighting with another group over distribution of "gifts" collected by the community.
Sources said that the clash between the two factions first broke out at another location in Meerut earlier today, forcing local residents to inform the authorities. Upon arriving at the spot, police officers defused the situation and convinced the rival groups to file complaints instead. However, another clash erupted on the police station premises, forcing personnel at the scene to baton-charge them.
"Force was used to control the transgender people after began creating a nuisance," ANI quoted Special Superintendent of Police Nitin Tiwari as saying. He, however, added that an investigation would be taken up if the police were found to have used more force than necessary.
Members of the transgender community are often accused of "extorting" money from people in public spaces. More than 73,000 transgenders were arrested for extorting money from railway passengers in the past four years, over 20,000 alone in the last one year, the railway ministry said in response to an RTI query recently.
Social activists maintain that they have little option, given the discrimination they face in society. However, transgender people have been gaining more acceptance in recent years.